Congratulations! You're Having a Puppy

In preparation for the big event this is a brief outline. If you have any questions please contact us at your local VetEnt clinic.

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Duration of pregnancy for dogs is about 63 days from mating, however it can rage from 58-68 days.

Dog pregnancy - diagnosis

To satisfy curiosity and to allow preparations to be made for the new arrivals it is a good idea to confirm pregnancy.
Ultrasound from 28 days after mating is an easy way to diagnose dog pregnancy early. It cannot tell you how many puppies are present.
X-ray can confirm the number of puppies; however the skeletons do not show up on x-ray until day 45. X-ray is also a useful tool to check all the pups have been born after whelping.

Management of your pregnant dog

Your pregnant dog need a balanced nutritious, highly digestible complete diet. Calcium supplementation is discouraged as this can lead to problems after whelping.
The quantity of food required increases from about the 5th week of pregnancy to 130% of normal in the last week of pregnancy. In lactation they also require more energy; premium food in more frequent meals or ad lib is suggested.
Every pregnant dog is different so it is better to tailor the diet to individual needs and monitor weight and condition. Come in and see one of our vet nurses and discuss the feeding needs of your bitch during and after pregnancy.
Ensure the bitches’ vaccinations are up to date ideally before mating; this helps protect the pups in the first weeks before their 1st vaccinations as puppies at 6 weeks of age.
De-worming is also important as pups can get worms through the placenta and from the milk. Treat your bitch regularly from mid pregnancy. Get rid of any fleas now as well with a good product!
Daily exercise is good to maintain muscle, but it is sensible to avoid strenuous exercise in the last 3 weeks of your dog pregnancy.


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The big day

Prepare a whelping container that is draft free and puppy safe, allowing enough room for the pregnant dog to lie down without crushing puppies. An external heat source may be necessary. Line the box with clean washable lining.
In the last 2-3 days the bitch will become restless and start to nest, and she may stop eating. Just before whelping, the vulva and vagina will swell and some clear discharge may occur. In the first stage of labour the cervix relaxes. In the second stage there are strong uterine contractions and the pups are born. Placentas may follow each pup or be at the end. Between pups the bitch should be relaxed and mothering pups.
Phone us if the bitch is actively straining unproductively for 30-60 minutes, or if it has been more than about 4 hours since the last pup was born and you are concerned that there maybe more. An x-ray can easily identify if more pups are still inside.

Taking care of pups

Following the below schedule will give your puppies the best start in life.
2 weeks  De-worm
4 weeks  De-worm
6 weeks  1st vaccination, de-worm & de-flea
8 weeks  De-worm
9 weeks  2nd vaccination & other optional vaccinations
10 weeks De-worm
12 weeks 3rd vaccination, booster optional vaccinations & de-worm


Click for more informaition on raising a puppy.

If you have any questions about dog pregnancy, contact your local VetEnt Clinic and speak with your Veterinarian.

Make an Appointment

For emergencies or urgent appointments within the next 24 hours, please phone the clinic directly.